Spectacular Now: Spectacular Movie

Boasting one of the most original titles this summer, the romantic comedy “The Spectacular Now“ announces the arrival of a talented filmmaker, James Ponsoldt.

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I had high expectations of this film, based on the fact that it was written by Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber, who have given us the lovely comedy, “(500) Days of Summer,” and that it boasts a great cast of talented actors.

“The Spectacular Now” was adapted from a novel by Tim Tharp, and the scenario captures the book’s rich and dense texture, while finding a way to turn the tale into a satisfying visual experience.

The feature presents a vivid, multi-nuanced portrait of how bright youths confront the funny, thrilling, perilous, and scary elements of first love and the crossing into adulthood at this time and age.

The very gifted Miles Teller plays Sutter Keely, a smart and charming high school senior, who unexpectedly falls in love with Aimee Finecky (Shailene Woodley, who played George Clooney’s elder daughter in “The Descendants”), who, for a change, is a good girl.

What starts as an unlikely romance becomes a sharply observed, witty, and humorous chronicle of the confusion, passion, and intensity of everything that young individuals feel and do.

The wonderful supporting ensemble includes Brie Larson, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
By standards of mainstream cinema, the film is so small, modest, and intimate that it runs the risk of being ignored or underestimated in today’s competitive market.

The performances of the two protagonists, Woodley and Teller, are wonderful in the way that they depict the eagerness and openness for new adventures as well as the vulnerability and fear of getting hurt by investing too much in the mysterious, unknown phenomenon called love.

There’s no denying that “The Spectacular Now” is a genre movie, both as a teen comedy and a classic coming of age tale, but it has a fresh angle and bittersweet tone that are missing from most Hollywood youth pictures, plus it pays equal attention to its male and female protagonists.

Credits

Running time: 95 Minutes.
Directed By: James Ponsoldt
Written By: Michael H. Weber